Referendum

What should be a simple counting of heads

Is here a pratfall buried with the bones

Dumped near the fenced-off railway sheds.

 

For freedom’s optimistic tidings

Are out of fashion in these parts,

Their wagons mothballed in the sidings.

 

In place of a future based on trust,

The polished tracks will soon become

A instrument of power’s grasping lust.

 

This will not be the first time or the last

That memory, with sorrow, fades to sleep

And human failings cower in the past.

Ukraine

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Comments

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Stephen Gospage

Thu 29th Sep 2022 17:16

It's very kind of you to say so, Greg. I wanted to write something rhythmic to contrast with the crass, rifle-butt nature of this exercise. Thanks, Flyntland, I am so glad you enjoyed this. It is incredible that 15% of Ukraine's territory will be snatched away tomorrow (at least according to some people).
And thanks to Nigel, Frederick, John C and John B and Reggie's Ghost for liking this.

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Greg Freeman

Wed 28th Sep 2022 23:50

I'm not an expert on Auden, by any means, Steve, but this reminds me of his work, the power and sweep of it. It was the words "the bones /Dumped near the fenced-off railway sheds" that made me think of him. Remarkable poem.

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Flyntland

Wed 28th Sep 2022 22:15



I lve the rythm of this piece
My favourite lines - -

"For freedom's optimistic tidings
Are out of fashion in these parts,
Their wagons mothballed in the sidings"

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